Leading digital youth charity, The Mix, has worked with YouGov on some new research on young people and bullying for Anti-Bullying Week. They have released a white paper which reveals that males are slightly more likely to say that they are currently being bullied than females.
This is a contrast to research from the past two years which suggests that females are more likely to be bullied (a government study from the DfE in 2018 showed that almost twice as many girls were being bullied).
The research shows that females (26%) are more likely to experience cyberbullying than males (17%). The data also shows that 60% of young people are either currently bullied or have been bullied at some point in their life. This is a huge number of young people whose lives are being impacted by bullying.
Interesting regional data also shows that young people in Scotland are nearly three times more likely to say they are currently being bullied. Young people from Scotland were also most likely to say that they have been bullied in the past (63%).
When asked how bullying made them feel, survey respondents said:
‘Like I didn’t want to exist. This lasted for many years and I felt helpless because I was too scared to tell anyone.’
‘Like I was worthless, I got rid of all social media and my phone for a year and a half because of it. It would really tear me apart, I felt like I wasn’t wanted wherever I went.’
A young man who is a volunteer and member of The Mix community is available for interviews to speak about his recent experience of both school and cyberbullying and the impact it has had on his mental health and self-esteem.
The Mix wants young people to know that whether they have experienced bullying, or whether they have been accused of bullying behaviour, they are not alone and are deserving of support. The Mix is there to offer that support, and their services are free and non-judgemental.
The Mix Chair, Andrew Harrison commented: ‘Having experienced bullying when I was young, I know the impact that bullying behaviour has on one’s self-esteem, confidence, and mental health. It would be great to say that it has changed since I was at a school, but through the eyes of my own children and through the results of the YouGov survey we have commissioned, we can see that it hasn’t. In fact, the sheer numbers of young people who are suffering remain shocking, and with the growth of social media, smartphones and an always-connected world, it is now so much worse than in my day.
‘We know young people are desperately seeking support for this. When I was 15, I had no one to talk to and had to come to grips with it on my own. I live with the effects of it to this day. I got involved with The Mix because I didn’t want young people like my former 15-year old self to be struggling alone, with no one to turn to. I’m now Chair of the Trustees and I’m so proud of the work that the team do, reaching millions of young people to make sure there is always someone there to help with information and non-judgemental support.’